tv The Colbert Report Comedy Central January 21, 2014 11:31pm-12:02am PST
>> jon: that's our show. here it is your moment of zen. >> i want to be clear to say to the folks i'm not saying president obama is the anti-christ. i'm sure he is not because the ♪ ♪ >> stephen colbert reports the colbert book club. tonight's selection. >> a farewell to arms by earnest hemingway. [cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause] >> stephen: welcome, everybody. thank you for joining me. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. >> audience: stephen! [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> stephen: ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for being here tonight. in here, out there, joining me for the and historic third edition of the colbert book club. i started as a tribute to and copy write infringement pop my deer friend oprah winfrey. as everyone knows oprah gives me things. sweaters, avocados, or cease and desist letters. previous installments of the colbert book club include "the
great gatsby" and anything but "catcher and the rye." they're wonderful shows filled with thoughtful literary analysis. none of which i can remember because i was [beep] on chardonnay. tonight, tonight is a special night. a night that is cold, and dark, and hard, and filled with regret. a night that we discuss a writer named ernest hemingway. now sit down, and be quiet. to celebrate this american icon i'm wearing a rugged safari outfit and occasionally drinking from a goat bladder wineskin. [cheers and applause] >> stephen: mmmm. that is some good bladder. and of course i'm surrounded by dead animals. a wild bore, elephant tusks, a
bearskin rug, a marlin, and an authentic leopard throw from deepest darkest pottery barn. my biggest trophy tonight is the ryan oh, orhino. they're endangered so i only killed the front half. i let the back half go to reproduce. perhaps the most mag niff sent trophy on the wall is me. there i am as papa as i may look later in life, at the age of two years ago. my show is killing me. hemingway was a master of prose. famous for his short una dorned sentences. a style emulated by many and perfected by a few like the incredible hulk. hulk smash, classic hemingway. hemingway has so many great novels i'm willing to tell people i have read the old man
in the sea to whom the bell tolls about a man waiting for a signal that his microwave burrito is done. tragically the inside is still cold. tonight i will sit down with author miking chabon to discuss "a farewell to arms" a epic tale of love, war, loyalty and death. it's the "hunger games" with mustard gas. first let's get to know the man behind the marlin carcass. in part one better know a hemingway. ernest hemingway. he was born in oak park, illinois n1899. he had a unusual boyhood. in that it was part girlhood. for the sirs six years of his life his mother dressed him as a girl calling him ernestene which
he in no way spent the rest of his life compensating for. at 18 he volunteered for world war i as a ambulance driver on the italian front. i was wounded by mortar fire but he still carried a soldier to safety after the war hemingway joined a group of ex patriots in paris including f scotts fitzgerald and owen wilson. in 1926 he published his first novel "the sun also rises" based on running with the bulls. it's considered his greatest work. some how he managed to type it while fleeing bulls. three years later he finished tonight's book "a farewell to arms." it addresses the question, if
you say farewell to your arms, what do you wave to say goodbye? [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause] >> you know the nice thing about sangria is you already know what it will look like when you throw it up. [ applause ] >> stephen: that's called foreshadowing. [laughing] >> stephen: when world war ii began hemingway returned as a journalist. he was busy landing a marlin at sea and never got off the vessel. he was a legendary sports man and hunter. his big game trophies include a
rhino and a leopard. these are based for his book "i will see you in hell barbar." the years of hard living took their toll on papa. he died from a self inflicted gun shot wound. sadly the killer was never found. 52 years later ernest hemingway's works are cherished by readers, writers and anyone who hates adjectives. when we return i will be joined by another pulitzer prize winning
[cheers and applause] >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. folks, welcome back to the colbert book club already in progress. long time viewers of to the's show know we're talking about nobel prize winner and my personal hero rugged man's man ernest hemingway. we're discussing his worl worldi classic "farewell to arms." i remember the first time i read the book. it's like it was yesterday. it was yesterday. i read it from the front cover to the back cover. i tell you what i never saw
coming, $27 u.s. $30 canadian. hevidently it's a slightly bettr book in canada. my guest tonight to discuss the "farewell to arms" is the pulitzer prize winning author, michael chabon. (doorbell). >> stephen: there he is now. ladies and gentlemen, michael chabon. thank you for joining me. >> i'm so happy to be here. [laughing] >> stephen: you're the best selling author pulitzer prize winner. a new book "telegraph avenue." >> yes. stephen: neither by ernest hemingway. you're a enormous fan of hemingway, true. >> yes, life long. stephen: why do you think he's a great american master? why are kids forced to read this in school? >> well, i think of all of the
books you may get forced to read in school this is one that is least painful. i think the thing about hemingway that stays with me. it has stayed with all of us over the years is the writing itself. the hemingway style. you talk about the spare, sparing use of adjectives. >> stephen: if he was paid by the word he would of starved to death. >> that's the thing he learned how to do it by working as a journalist. his innovation. if you pick up a book of early hemingway, from the 20s. it's free fresh, may of been written yesterday. the written is so lean. where as you pick up something, i love fitzgerald. but the great gatsby has a victorian, dated quality. eming way is utterly fresh and modern. i think that's because he invented the modern way of
writing. he invented the american narrative voice. his shad oh he casts a long shadow through the 20th century. >> stephen: for such a manly man. hithere isn't a lot of sex in this. we're not entirely sure. it's frederick henry and then kathryn. what's her last name. >> i forget. sorry. i didn't know -- >> stephen: if you remembered, i had remembered it would seem like one of us hadn't read the book. >> are you going to hold me -- stephen: kathryn. >> yes frederick and kagt lynn. stephen: you're not sure how kathryn gets pregnant. "50 shades of grey" sold a ton. why not more lights on, wild style? for a manly man why not sexy time. >> well, speaking as a manly
man. i think, you know the time he was writing -- [laughing] >> the time he was writing it was just, he did push boundaries for what was acceptable in a work of fiction in terms of taboos. they were fairly strong. he had to edit out a lot of language. i think he used more four letter words in the original draft. a lot of that was taken out. >> stephen: why, why if you want to write something so emotionally spare why do a novel. why not manuals for ikea furniture. put peg b in slot a. which is probably sexier than -- [laughing] >> stephen: -- he wrote in here. why do you think? why do you think he went from journalism to novels. journalism is dry. don't we want gooey gushy in the novel? >> to the ex tent of the gushy stuff it's the detriment to the
book. what makes this book so magnificent to me are the war passages. you mentioned in the introduction hemingway experienced severe trauma in war. almost fatally injured. you know he went off looking for excitement. he volunteered, awes said. what is remarkable about the book is it is, if not the earliest one of the earliest efforts of a veteran of war to try to write about the experience of war from a soldiers, an ordinary soldier's point of view. >> stephen: do we need that anymore, we have "call of duty" now? 15 hours of that you're like no more cheetos i want out. >> you're right. think you're right. there is almost an exact equivalent see between call of duty -- >> stephen: the graphics. back then they didn't have the graphics. >> no.
it was like 8 bit i think. >> stephen: let's talk about the book itself. he survived the war. goes off with kathryn. she dies in child birth. >> ya. stephen: spoiler alert. you left out the spoils your mood. >> ya, i mean the -- the, it's a funny book in a way. >> stephen: hilarious. hilarious. is it your favorite hemingway? his greatest book. >> i think this and then the short stories called the "nick adams stories." it's autobiographical. they take a character, nick, from his boyhood through world war i. >> stephen: i read that "old man in the sea" that's super short. did i a book report in sixth grade. >> how did you do? stephen: i got an "a." i don't want to brag. in that book, you know there is an old man. there is the sea.
>> ya. stephen: is frederick the old man, you know in this book, and is kathryn her name begins with a "c." is she the sea? is there a parallel or is she the marlin? >> i -- you know that's hard to make a connection between these two books. >> stephen: i did it i did it twice. i should of been the guest on this show. michael, thank you so much for joining me. michael chabon, the book is "telegraph avenue" we will be right back. [cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause] >> stephen: oh, hi. welcome back to the colbert book club, everybody. [cheers and applause] >> stephen: folks, if you are just joining us and want to catch up you need to drink a fifth of whiskey and make love to a bison. tonight is all about ernest hemingway. his books have turned into at
least 50 feature films. my favorite, ernest goes to camp. hemingway was a badass. even about the act of writing. saying there is nothing to writing aulg do you is sit down at the typewriter and bleed. her cleaning lady's quote "dear god, what the hell happened in here." here to tell us more about hemingway the man, is hemingway the woman. mayoral hemingway, thank you for joining us. -- mariel. would you like a glass of wine? >> >> don: stephen: you don't want a glass of wine. alright. that is the first subject. you have a book called "running with nature" you wrote with your partner bobbie williams. >> yes. stephen: photo, full frame. i'm offended by how healthy and happy you look in the vote oh,.
>> you are? stephen: you have a healthy lifestyle. >> i do. stephen: do you think your hard living grandfather would agree of a healthy lifestyle of micro biotics and tea and not wine and wheus kaoefplt. >> i think he would he lived in a time where they didn't realize drinking all much, like you have been doing all evening, and living the hard life is not good for you. he was about understanding the characters he was writing about. think if he was more stable it would of been better for him. >> stephen: you have done a documentary about what some may call escaping the hemingway curse. >> i don't think there is a curse. there is the myth. i think there is a miss con misn of how hemingway is suppose to be. your dress and your behavior.
a man's man. >> stephen: i didn't nail it? >> you nailed it you got it right. >> stephen: thank you, very much. >> the idea it's about being a, you know a man that is going to kill everything. i think he understood love stories. i think he understood the communication between men and women in a relationship. even though it was a story about war. i really feel his understanding of women and the subtleties of life. not just the machismo, big things. >> stephen: there is romance in the stories. we men realize from reading hemingway to get the girl we may have to be distant and hard living and hard drinking. that's the original marlboro man for america, hemingway. >> making men, men is a great thing. it's what we take from him. >> stephen: the ladies like it.
>> the ladies like it. i admit that. >> stephen: to impress the ladies those of us who are fans feel we have to go to the frozen fish isle and wrestle the gordon fish sticks and punch them before putting them in the microwave. did you have to read his books in high school? were you assigned ernest hemingway in high school? >> i was like every other kid. i read "old man in the sea." did my sixth grade book report. >> stephen: did you get a good grade? >> >> don: just kidding. i read it with my father in paris when i was 11 years old. i read it before i went to paris. then i read while i was in paris and another book about my grandfather going through paris when he was married to my grand mother and had my father who is mentioned in the book.
>> stephen: is that like reading a family diary or a book? >> no, it feels like a book. i wasn't alive when he was alive. it -- there was definitely something about it that was special. >> tom: have your father tell you stories about the different places that he actually grew up in. it's pretty powerful way to hear about it. >> stephen: for such a great american writer, some say the greatest american writer off the 20th century. why did he write so much about other countries? isn't there something in america to inspire america he doesn't need paris we have epcot. does that offend you? >> you have to understand you know how his mother dressed him for so long. he wanted to get the hell out of dodge. staefplt what do you think that was about? >> i don't know. i didn't know my great grandmother. that begs an answer.
>> stephen: your grandfather spent a lost time in cuba his bolt is there the pilar and the house is there. when fidel castro dies you're opening a hotel, right? you have to, you can cash. in "i got hammered at hemingways" you have to open a hotel. mariel, thank you for joining me. mariel hemingway "running with nature" we will be right 7 rjrj,x,x
i always thought it was a type of food. good night, everybody. [cheers and applause] it's 11:59 and 59 seconds. this happened on instagram today! >> that is a goldfish gasping for oxygen. and also juan pablo, america's favorite multihyphenated bachelor/latino lothario/homophobe, giving a nightmare of a kiss. i like to prerend tend, i like